Hans Eysenck

Hans Eysenck

Overview
Hans Jürgen Eysenck was a German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

-British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

 who spent most of his career in Britain, best remembered for his work on intelligence
Intelligence
Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

 and personality
Personality psychology
Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and individual differences. Its areas of focus include:* Constructing a coherent picture of the individual and his or her major psychological processes...

, though he worked in a wide range of areas. At the time of his death, Eysenck was the living psychologist most frequently cited in science journals.

Hans Eysenck was born in Berlin, Germany, his mother a film star (Helga Molander
Helga Molander
Helga Molander, born as Ruth Werner on 19 March 1896 in Königshütte, Silesia, Germany , died in 1986, was a German actress and mother of Hans Eysenck.-Life:...

) and his father a nightclub entertainer, once voted 'handsomest man on the Baltic coast'.
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Encyclopedia
Hans Jürgen Eysenck was a German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

-British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

 who spent most of his career in Britain, best remembered for his work on intelligence
Intelligence
Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

 and personality
Personality psychology
Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and individual differences. Its areas of focus include:* Constructing a coherent picture of the individual and his or her major psychological processes...

, though he worked in a wide range of areas. At the time of his death, Eysenck was the living psychologist most frequently cited in science journals.

Overview


Hans Eysenck was born in Berlin, Germany, his mother a film star (Helga Molander
Helga Molander
Helga Molander, born as Ruth Werner on 19 March 1896 in Königshütte, Silesia, Germany , died in 1986, was a German actress and mother of Hans Eysenck.-Life:...

) and his father a nightclub entertainer, once voted 'handsomest man on the Baltic coast'. (p8-11). Eysenck was brought up by his grandmother, who was a fervent Catholic, though of Jewish ancestry - a fact he did not know until after her death in a concentration camp (p. 80) An initial move to England in the 1930s became permanent due to his opposition to the Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 party. "My hatred of Hitler and the Nazis, and all they stood for, was so overwhelming that no argument could counter it."(p 40) Because of his German citizenship, he was initially unable to gain employment, and was almost interned during the war. He received his PhD in 1940 from University College, London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

 (UCL) working in the Department of Psychology under the supervision of Professor Sir Cyril Burt
Cyril Burt
Sir Cyril Lodowic Burt was an English educational psychologist who made contributions to educational psychology and statistics....

, with whom he had a tumultuous professional relationship throughout his working life. (pp. 118–119).

Eysenck was Professor of Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry
Institute of Psychiatry
The Institute of Psychiatry is a research institution dedicated to discovering what causes mental illness and diseases of the brain. In addition, its aim is to help identify new treatments for them and ways to prevent them in the first place...

, King's College, London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

 (a constituent college of the federal University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

), from 1955 to 1983. He was a major contributor to the modern scientific theory of personality and a brilliant teacher who helped found treatment for mental illnesses. He was the founding editor of the journal Personality and Individual Differences
Personality and Individual Differences
Personality and Individual Differences is a scientific journal published bi-monthly by Elsevier and founded in 1980. PAID is the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences ....

, and authored about 80 books and over 1600 journal articles. His son Michael Eysenck
Michael Eysenck
Michael William Eysenck is a British academic psychologist, and currently a professor in the psychology department of Roehampton University. His research focuses on cognitive factors affecting anxiety. Eysenck has written and co-written many publications, including several textbooks...

 is also a noted psychology professor. Hans Eysenck died of a brain tumor in a London hospice in 1997.

Controversies


Examples of publications in which Eysenck's views have roused controversy include (chronologically):
  • A paper in the 1950s concluding that available data "fail to support the hypothesis that psychotherapy facilitates recovery from neurotic disorder".
  • A chapter in Uses and Abuses of Psychology (1953) entitled "What is wrong with psychoanalysis".
  • Race, Intelligence and Education (1971) (in the US: The IQ Argument)
  • Sex, Violence and the Media (1978).
  • Astrology — Science or Superstition? (1982)
  • Smoking, Personality and Stress (1991)


Eysenck’s attitude was summarised in his autobiography Rebel with a Cause (Transaction Publishers (1997), ISBN 1-56000-938-1): "I always felt that a scientist owes the world only one thing, and that is the truth as he sees it. If the truth contradicts deeply held beliefs, that is too bad. Tact and diplomacy are fine in international relations, in politics, perhaps even in business; in science only one thing matters, and that is the facts."

Genetics and Intelligence


By far the most acrimonious of the debates has been that over the role of genetics
Genetics
Genetics , a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms....

 in IQ differences (see intelligence quotient#Genetics vs environment), which led to Eysenck famously being punched
Punch (strike)
A punch is a striking blow with the fist. It is the most commonly used attack in hand to hand combat. It is used in some martial arts and combat sports, most notably boxing where it is the only type of technique allowed...

 on the nose by a female protestor during a talk at the London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

, as well as bomb threats, and threats to kill his young children. This opposition came when he supported Arthur Jensen
Arthur Jensen
Arthur Robert Jensen is a Professor Emeritus of educational psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Jensen is known for his work in psychometrics and differential psychology, which is concerned with how and why individuals differ behaviorally from one another.He is a major proponent...

's questioning of whether variation in IQ between racial groups was entirely environmental. (see race and intelligence
Race and intelligence
The connection between race and intelligence has been a subject of debate in both popular science and academic research since the inception of intelligence testing in the early 20th century...

).

Eysenck thought the media gave the misleading impression that his views were those of a maverick outside the mainstream scientific consensus and cited The IQ Controversy, the Media and Public Policy as showing that there was majority support for every single one of the main contentions he had put forward, further asserting that the idea there was any real debate about the matter among the relevant scientists was incorrect.

Some of Eysenck's later work was funded from the Pioneer Fund
Pioneer Fund
The Pioneer Fund is an American non-profit foundation established in 1937 "to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences." Currently headed by psychology professor J. Philippe Rushton, the fund states that it focuses on projects it perceives will not be easily funded due to...

, an organization often criticized for promoting scientific racism
Scientific racism
Scientific racism is the use of scientific techniques and hypotheses to sanction the belief in racial superiority or racism.This is not the same as using scientific findings and the scientific method to investigate differences among the humans and argue that there are races...

  for which Eysenck was also criticised.

Effects of Smoking


He also received 'secret' funding for 'consultation research' via New York legal firm Jacob & Medinger which was acting on behalf of the tobacco industry. Asked what he felt about tobacco industry lawyers being involved in selecting scientists for research projects, he said: "As long as somebody pays for the research I don't care who it is." Research should be judged on quality not on who paid for it, he said, adding that he had not personally profited from the funds. (example document here, via tobaccodocuments.org) http://tobaccodocuments.org/bliley_lor/03747086-7087.html. According to the UK newspaper The Independent, Eysenck received more than £800k in this way (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/eysenck-took-pounds-800000-tobacco-funds-1361007.html) - though, interviewed by UK's Channel 4 TV in 1996, he "could not remember exactly the source... " of the money.

Eysenck and the genetics of personality


In 1951, Eysenck's first empirical study into the genetics
Genetics
Genetics , a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms....

 of personality was published. It was an investigation carried out with his student and associate Donald Prell
Donald Prell
Donald B. Prell is a venture capitalist and futurist who created Datamation, the first magazine devoted solely to the computer hardware and software industry.-Early life:...

, from 1948 to 1951, in which identical (monozygotic) and fraternal (dizygotic) twins, ages 11 and 12, were tested for neuroticism. It is described in detail in an article published in the Journal of Mental Science. Eysenck and Prell concluded: "that the factor of neuroticism is not a statistical artifact, but constitutes a biological unit which is inherited as a whole....neurotic predisposition
Predisposition
Predisposition may refer to:* Genetic predisposition, a genetic effect which can identify individuals who may be predisposed to certain health problems* Predispositioning Theory, mathematical term in the field of decision theory...

 is to a large extent hereditarily determined."

Eysenck's model of personality (P–E–N)


The two personality dimensions, Extraversion and Neuroticism
Neuroticism
Neuroticism is a fundamental personality trait in the study of psychology. It is an enduring tendency to experience negative emotional states. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than the average to experience such feelings as anxiety, anger, guilt, and depressed mood...

, were described in his 1947 book Dimensions of Personality. It is common practice in personality psychology to refer to the dimensions by the first letters, E and N.

E and N provided a 2-dimensional space to describe individual differences in behaviour. An analogy can be made to how latitude and longitude describe a point on the face of the earth. Also, Eysenck noted how these two dimensions were similar to the four personality types first proposed by the Greek physician Hippocrates
Hippocrates
Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles , and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine...

.
  • High N and High E = Choleric type
  • High N and Low E = Melancholic type
  • Low N and High E = Sanguine type
  • Low N and Low E = Phlegmatic type


The third dimension, psychoticism
Psychoticism
Psychoticism is one of the three traits used by the psychologist Hans Eysenck in his P-E-N model model of personality. Psychoticism refers to a personality pattern typified by aggressiveness and interpersonal hostility.High levels of this trait were believed by Eysenck to be linked to increased...

, was added to the model in the late 1970s, based upon collaborations between Eysenck and his wife, Sybil B. G. Eysenck
Sybil B. G. Eysenck
Sybil B. G. Eysenck is a personality psychologist and the widow of noted personality psychologist Hans Eysenck, with whom she collaborated. She is co-editor-in-chief of the Elsevier journal Personality and Individual Differences and the author of the Junior Eysenck Personality Inventory and its...

,e.g., Eysenck & Eysenck, 1976 who is the current editor of Personality and Individual Differences.

The major strength of Eysenck's model was to provide detailed theory of the causes of personality. For example, Eysenck proposed that extraversion was caused by variability in cortical arousal: "introverts are characterized by higher levels of activity than extraverts and so are chronically more cortically aroused than extraverts". While it seems counterintuitive to suppose that introverts are more aroused than extraverts, the putative effect this has on behaviour is such that the introvert seeks lower levels of stimulation. Conversely, the extravert seeks to heighten his or her arousal to a more favourable level (as predicted by the Yerkes-Dodson Law
Yerkes-Dodson law
The Yerkes–Dodson law is a claimed empirical relationship between arousal and performance, originally developed by psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson in 1908. The "law" asserts that performance increases with physiological or mental arousal, but only up to a point. When...

) by increased activity, social engagement and other stimulation-seeking behaviors.

Comparison with other theories


Jeffrey Alan Gray
Jeffrey Alan Gray
Jeffrey Alan Gray was a British psychologist. He was born in the East End of London. His father was a tailor, but died when Jeffrey was only seven. His mother, who ran a haberdashery, brought him up alone....

, a former student of Eysenck's, developed a comprehensive alternative theoretical interpretation of the biological and psychological data studied by Eysenck – leaning more heavily on animal and learning models. Currently, the most widely used model of personality is Big Five model (see big five personality traits
Big Five personality traits
In contemporary psychology, the "Big Five" factors of personality are five broad domains or dimensions of personality which are used to describe human personality....

) (Costa & McCrae, 1985). The traits in the Big Five are as follows:
  1. Openness to experience
  2. Conscientiousness
  3. Extraversion
  4. Agreeableness
  5. Neuroticism


Extraversion and Neuroticism in the Big Five are very similar to Eysenck's traits of the same name. However, what Eysenck calls the trait of Psychoticism corresponds to two traits in the Big Five model: Conscientiousness and Agreeableness. Eysenck's personality system did not address Openness to experience. He argued that his approach was a better description of personality (Eysenck, 1992a; 1992b).

Psychometric scales relevant to Eysenck's theory


Eysenck's theory of personality is closely linked with the scales that he and his co-workers developed. These include the Maudsley Medical Questionnaire, Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire
Eysenck Personality Questionnaire
In psychology, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire is a questionnaire to assess the personality traits of a person.It was devised by the psychologists Hans Jürgen Eysenck and his wife Sybil B. G. Eysenck....

 (EPQ) and Sensation Seeking Scale (developed in conjunction with Marvin Zuckerman). The Eysenck Personality Profiler (EPP) breaks down different facets of each trait considered in the model. There has been some debate about whether these facets should include impulsivity as a facet of extraversion as Eysenck declared in his early work; or psychoticism
Psychoticism
Psychoticism is one of the three traits used by the psychologist Hans Eysenck in his P-E-N model model of personality. Psychoticism refers to a personality pattern typified by aggressiveness and interpersonal hostility.High levels of this trait were believed by Eysenck to be linked to increased...

. Eysenck declared for the latter, in later work.

Eysenck's later work


In 1994 he was one of 52 signatories on "Mainstream Science on Intelligence
Mainstream Science on Intelligence
Mainstream Science on Intelligence was a public statement issued by a group of academic researchers in fields allied to intelligence testing that claimed to present those findings widely accepted in the expert community...

, " an editorial written by Linda Gottfredson
Linda Gottfredson
Linda Susanne Gottfredson is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Delaware and co-director of the Delaware-Johns Hopkins Project for the Study of Intelligence and Society. Gottfredson's work has been influential in shaping U.S...

 and published in the Wall Street Journal, which declared the consensus of the signing scholars on issues related to race and intelligence
Race and intelligence
The connection between race and intelligence has been a subject of debate in both popular science and academic research since the inception of intelligence testing in the early 20th century...

 following the publication of the book The Bell Curve
The Bell Curve
The Bell Curve is a best-selling and controversial 1994 book by the Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and political scientist Charles Murray...

. Gottfredson described the drafting of the statements on intelligence and process of gathering signatures on that document in a 1997 editorial in the journal Intelligence. Eysenck includes the entire text of the 1994 editorial (including the lead paragraphs mentioning the book The Bell Curve
The Bell Curve
The Bell Curve is a best-selling and controversial 1994 book by the Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and political scientist Charles Murray...

 and twenty-five propositions about human intelligence) in his 1998 book Intelligence: A New Look, saying, "I did not find any particular discrepancies between my account" and the statements in that editorial.

Eysenck made early contributions to fields such as personality
Personality psychology
Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and individual differences. Its areas of focus include:* Constructing a coherent picture of the individual and his or her major psychological processes...


by express and explicit commitment to a very rigorous adherence
to scientific methodology, as Eysenck believed that scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

ology was required for progress in personality psychology. He used, for example, factor analysis
Factor analysis
Factor analysis is a statistical method used to describe variability among observed, correlated variables in terms of a potentially lower number of unobserved, uncorrelated variables called factors. In other words, it is possible, for example, that variations in three or four observed variables...

, a statistical method, to support his personality model. An example is Inheritance of Neuroticism: An Experimental Study, quoted above. His early work showed Eysenck to be an especially strong critic of psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

 as a form of therapy, preferring behaviour therapy
Behaviour therapy
Behaviour therapy, or behavior therapy is an approach to psychotherapy based on learning theory which aims to treat psychopathology through techniques designed to reinforce desired and eliminate undesired behaviours.-History:...

. He was particularly critical of Freud and his methods and wrote a book criticizing them titled The Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire. Despite this strongly scientific interest, Eysenck did not shy, in later work, from giving attention to parapsychology
Parapsychology
The term parapsychology was coined in or around 1889 by philosopher Max Dessoir, and originates from para meaning "alongside", and psychology. The term was adopted by J.B. Rhine in the 1930s as a replacement for the term psychical research...

 and astrology
Astrology
Astrology consists of a number of belief systems which hold that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world...

. Indeed, he believed that empirical evidence supported the existence of paranormal abilities.

Biographies


H.B. Gibson (Tony Gibson
Tony Gibson
Hamilton Bertie Gibson , better known as Tony Gibson, was an English psychologist, anarchist, and model...

), who worked with Eysenck at the Institute of Psychiatry, has published a biography of him. A critical biography of Eysenck was published by Roderick Buchanan in 2010 ('Playing with Fire: the Controversial Career of Hans J. Eysenck', Oxford U. Press) -- reviewed equally critically by Chris Brand in 2011.

Selected works


  • Dimensions of Personality (1947)
  • The Scientific Study of Personality (1952)
  • The Structure of Human Personality (1952) and later editions
  • Uses and Abuses of Psychology (1953)
  • The Psychology of Politics (1954)
  • Psychology and the Foundations of Psychiatry (1955)
  • Sense and Nonsense in Psychology (1956)
  • The Dynamics of Anxiety and Hysteria (1957)
  • Perceptual Processes and Mental Illnesses (1957) with G. Granger and J. C. Brengelmann
  • Manual of the Maudsley Personality Inventory (1959)
  • Handbook of Abnormal Psychology (1960) editor, later editions
  • Experiments in Personality (1960) two volumes, editor
  • Behaviour Therapy and Neuroses (1960) editor
  • Know Your Own I.Q. (1962)
  • Experiments with Drugs (1963) editor
  • Experiments in Motivation (1964) editor
  • Crime and Personality (1964) and later editions
  • Manual of the Eysenck Personality Inventory (1964) with S. B. G. Eysenck
  • The Causes and Cures of Neuroses (1965) with S. Rachman
  • Fact and Fiction in Psychology (1965)
  • Smoking, Health and Personality (1965)
  • Check Your Own I.Q. (1966)
  • The Effects of Psychotherapy (1966)
  • The Biological Basis of Personality (1967)
  • Eysenck, H.J. & Eysenck, S.B.G. (1969). Personality Structure and Measurement. London: Routledge.
  • Readings in Extraversion/Introversion (1971) three volumes
  • Race, Intelligence and Education (1971) in US as The IQ Argument
  • Psychology is about People (1972)
  • Lexicon de Psychologie (1972) three volumes, with W. Arnold and R. Meili
  • The Inequality of Man (1973)
  • Eysenck on Extraversion (1973) editor
  • The Measurement of Intelligence (1973) editor
  • The Experimental Study of Freudian theories (1973) with G. D. Wilson
  • Case Histories in Behaviour Therapy (1974) editor
  • Know Your Own Personality (1975) with G. D. Wilson
  • Manual of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (1975) with S. B. G. Eysenck
  • A Textbook of Human Psychology (1976) with G. D. Wilson
  • Sex and Personality (1976)
  • The Measurement of Personality (1976) editor
  • Eysenck, H.J. & Eysenck, S.B.G. (1976). Psychoticism as a Dimension of Personality. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
  • Reminiscence, Motivation and Personality (1977) with C. D. Frith
  • You and Neurosis (1977)
  • Die Zukunft der Psychologie (1977)
  • The Psychological Basis of Ideology (1978) editor, with G. D. Wilson
  • Sex Violence and the Media (1978) with D. Nias
  • The Structure and Measurement of Intelligence (1979)
  • The Psychology of Sex (1979) with G. D. Wilson
  • The Causes and Effects of Smoking (1980)
  • A Model for Personality (1981) editor
  • Mindwatching (1981) with M. W. Eysenck, and later editions
  • The Battle for the Mind (1981) with L. J. Kamin, in US as The Intelligence Controversy
  • Personality, Genetics and Behaviour (1982)
  • Explaining the Unexplained (1982) with Carl Sargent
    Carl Sargent
    Carl L. Sargent is a British author of several roleplaying game-based products and novels.-Early career:...

  • H.J. Eysenck & D.K.B. Nias, Astrology: Science or Superstition? Penguin Books (1982) ISBN 0-14-022397-5
  • A Model for Intelligence (1982) editor
  • Know Your Own Psi-Q (1983) with Carl Sargent
  • …'I Do'. Your Happy Guide to Marriage (1983) with B. N. Kelly
  • Personality and Individual Differences: A Natural Science Approach (1985) with M. W. Eysenck
  • Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire (1985)
  • Rauchen und Gesundheit (1987)
  • Personality Dimensions and Arousal (1987) editor, with J. Strelau
  • Theoretical Foundations of Behaviour Therapy (1988) editor, with I. Martin
  • The Causes and Cures of Criminality (1989) with G. H. Gudjonsson
  • Genes, Culture and Personality: An Empirical Approach (1989) with L. Eaves and N. Martin
  • Suggestion and Suggestibility (1989) editor, with V. A. Gheorghiu, P. Netter, and R. Rosenthal
  • Intelligence: A New Look (1998)
  • Eysenck, H.J. (1992). A reply to Costa and McCrae. P or A and C — the role of theory. Personality and Individual Differences, 13, 867–868.
  • Eysenck, H.J. (1992). Four ways five factors are not basic. Personality and Individual Differences, 13, 667–673.
  • Eysenck, H. J. (1952). The effects of psychotherapy: An evaluation. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 16, 319–324.

Portraits of Eysenck


There are five portraits of Eysenck in the National Portrait Gallery permanent collection, including works by Anne-Katrin Purkiss
Anne-Katrin Purkiss
Anne-Katrin Purkiss is a photographer, born in Chemnitz, Germany in 1959 and moving to Britain in 1984 after graduating from University of Leipzig in 1983....

 and Elliott and Fry.

External links